Since I’ve started a new blog for all this nonsense, I’m reposting my episode recaps from my other tumblr account. Now with gifs! Because I get carried away when I have access to gimp.
Warning - This first episode recap is long, because the pilot itself is a longass episode. For that reason I’m splitting it into two parts. The hints and general things I noticed will be at the end of part 2.
TL;DR summary: The pilot is great and I’m hooked already.
The episode opens with a plane in a storm, so I’ll just go ahead and assume that these will be our redshirts for the day, especially as there’s a close shot on a particularly nervous and sweaty passenger. Something tells me things aren’t going to end well for him. He’s clearly freaking out, injects himself, and turns down the gum offered by the nice man trying to help him chill, before he starts heading to the front of the plane. Things are obviously about to go down.
HOLY FACEMELTING VOMIT, BATMAN. What the hell did he just inject himself with?! I thought he was just diabetic! My housemate leaves the room in disgust.
Now from truly horrifying effects to the loudest motel bed ever. And our introduction to FBI agent Olivia Dunham is her commenting on this loud bed. It’s made clear that these two should not be off in motel rooms together because of their work and- HOLD UP BRO he just said he loves her. So that means he’s going to die, right? There can’t be a declaration of love this early on that’ll end well.
I see what you’re up to Fringe. I see it.
Both agents receive a phone call and then a cool on screen title to tell us we’re off to Logan Airport for more fun with that flight, which I’ll from this point refer to as ‘the melty faced people’. Agents Dunham and Scott arrive separately to avoid being obvious even though it’s still completely obvious. Exposition about the flight and the autopilot system happens before I’m yelling at the screen WHY IS THE MAN FROM THE PLANE STILL ALIVE?
What is this fuckery?
Enter Broyles. He’s the boss, who instead of calling Dunham by name refers to her as Liaison like a condescending prat. The melty face people are now just goo and skeletons. Nice. Cut to an FBI office and there’s a lot of noise as they try to figure out what the balls just happened on the flight and Broyles sends Dunham (who he’s still calling Liaison and then Honey. Prat.) off to follow a lead that sounds a bit crap at a storage facility. Dunham goes with Agent Scott and we learn that Broyles is behaving this way because Dunham put away his friend after he sexually assaulted three people and this somehow gives him licence to be an asshat.
More relationship talk ensues so you know it’s going to go badly, and YEP there’s a lab in one of these storage units, the guy from the plane shows up again, and then EXPLOSIONS.
Explosions. And it’s not even Explosion Wednesday.
Dunham gets a nasty blow to the head, but she’s doing better than Agent Scott. He hasn’t melted the way the people on the plane did but he’s not looking good, so needless to say Dunham is out of the hospital quick as a flash and looking for a way to help him.
She thinks she’s found a link between a man named Walter Bishop and what ever this people melting thing is. Something about the research he did in the 70’s? She thinks he might be able to help save Agent Scott. Tenuous link there, so I can understand why Broyles isn’t impressed, especially given that the guy has apparently been in a mental hospital for 17 years, but he’s still a dick about her past work. You call your friend sexually assaulting people a small lapse in judgement? Excuse you, idiot. He says he’ll have her back if she uncovers something concrete, but that she needs to go and see the man’s next of kin if she wants to get in to see him. That means going to get his son. QUICK, TO IRAQ!
Olivia rattles off a list of Peter Bishops jobs and shady shenanigans that generally make him sound awesome. “Misfit, nomad,” I add HORSEMAN to the list for reasons I won’t explain here. Ahem. Anyway, Peter’s reaction to hearing “FBI” is already my favourite thing in the episode so far.
Trying to convince him to go with her to see his father doesn’t work, so Olivia goes straight for threats. Because she doesn’t have time for your shit right now Peter. The FBI have a file on him and Olivia is more than happy to spill the beans to certain people if he doesn’t agree to go, so
Famine Peter caves and asks when they leave. Also the “Sweetheart, we all care about someone who’s dying” line. What was that about? Seems like waayyy too dramatic a statement to be just a throwaway line.
During the plane journey and Peter giving us a bit more info on why he’s so reluctant to see his dad. Him being locked up apparently began “the first truly peaceful period” in their household. Uh oh. Even more uh oh is Olivia telling Peter what his father was really doing for a living when he was growing up, and it wasn’t research for a toothpaste company like he thought.
"My father was Doctor Frankenstein?"
The two of them arrive at St Claire’s, the mental hospital where Dr. Bishop has been living since an accident in his lab. He should have been standing trial for manslaughter but was deemed mentally unstable enough to end up in the hospital instead. Aaaand apparently this is the man who’s supposed to help them? Oh dear. Dunham goes in to see him alone and we get an idea of how out of it he is, going from talking about Agent Scott to pudding in the space of 30 seconds. And then he asks to see his son, having realised she must have brought him with her in order to get in to see him. Peter takes that about as well as you’d expect, but he does decide to go in. Calling her “Sweetheart” is getting annoying and Olivia agrees. Dr. Bishop promptly tells his son that he thought he’d be fatter.
He needs to see Agent Scott first hand to tell them anything useful, but he can only signed out by a legal guardian. So that’d be Peter. Who is less than impressed by the suggestion. Speaking of which, can we just talk about how brilliant the performances are in this scene? Really.
While driving away from the hospital, Walter informs them that he used to share a lab with a man named William Bell, who founded Massive Dynamic. As the name might tell you, they’re a massive company. Then he pisses himself. Things are going splendidly.
TO BE CONTINUED.